Who’s ready to backflip out of their coffin? Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, the second entry in the planned trilogy remaking Square Enix’s 1997 masterpiece, looks to finally bring together the game’s entire party. That means Cid and Vincent Valentine are joining up with Cloud, though previews of the game have revealed both of them will have a limited role. While fans of FF7’s emo (not) vampire may be sad to hear he won’t play a more significant role in Rebirth, it could mean Vincent will get his own spotlight in the form of an expansion.
FF7 Remake showed that Square Enix is doing much more than a simple update of the original game. In addition to plenty of story changes, the game was able to expand on characters and plot beats. FF7 Remake turned the game’s opening hours in Midgar into its own 30+ hour RPG. Intergrade, the expansion to FF7 Remake leaned even more into this by giving fans an entirely new story about party member Yuffie’s activities before meeting up with the main party.
With FF7 Rebirth, Square Enix has even more ground to cover than FF7 Remake, meaning that some things will still have to take the backseat to the main story. In an interview with Dengeki Online, creative producer Tetsuya Nomura revealed that both Cid and Vincent Valentine will act as companion characters but not party members, similar to how Red XIII functioned in Rebirth. Both will become fully playable in the third installment of the trilogy.
However, if Rebirth follows Remake’s lead fans should expect an Intergrade-like expansion, and there is no better candidate to headline such an expansion than Vincent Valentine.
Vincent Valentine is one of the most loved characters from FF7, which is surprising considering the character was an optional party member in the original game. The only other optional party member was Yuffie (who later became the star of Intergrade). As FF7 turned into its own mini-franchise, Vincent became the only party member to get his own game in the form of Dirge of Cerberus. The hot-topic vibes he gives off endeared him to players around the world. But beyond his popularity, Vincent’s fascinating backstory lends itself to an expansion.
When players first come upon him he awakes from a years-long slumber. The original FF7 reveals that Vincent was once a member of the Turks and crossed paths with Professor Hojo and other scientists in the early days of the Jenova Project. Vincent’s past becomes an important piece of the puzzle to understanding the motivation of Sephiroth.
While the original game made this all optional, it greatly adds to the overall experience of FF7. With Vincent becoming a main part of the story that players won’t miss understanding this backstory becomes so much more important.
Though FF7 Rebirth may not have the time to delve into this, an expansion that focused entirely on Vincent’s time before his slumber acts as a perfect bridge between the second and third installments in the trilogy and follows the same formula of Intergrade by offering players a separate story that seeks to flesh out the game’s main narrative.